Under the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, employers are required to recruit and select employees on merit, based on objective requirements of the job.
Therefore, they should not be posting job advertisements with nationality requirements ("Confusing guidelines for recruitment ads" by Mr Paul David Paffett; July 14, and "Tweak job ad guidelines" by Mr Jeffrey Law Lee Beng, last Saturday).
Specifying Singaporeans only, however, is acceptable as the guidelines also call for employers to make reasonable efforts to attract and consider Singaporean applicants for developing a Singaporean core.
We can understand Mr Paffett's concern about misleading non-Singaporean applicants, especially when his company is not hiring foreign nationals.
The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) has also received similar feedback from some employers.
For such employers, we would have no objection if employers make clear in job advertisements that applicants who require work passes need not apply for the jobs.
We also agree with Mr Law's comment on how job advertisements should contain specific requirements, so that the right candidates would apply for the jobs.
However, job requirements must not discriminate against particular groups of applicants. Factors such as age, race, religion, gender and marital status are generally irrelevant and thus should not be used as recruitment and selection criteria.
Roslyn Ten (Mrs)
Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices